Removing Linseed Oil from a Terracotta floor

This client in the Wiltshire village of Urchfont contacted us because a competitor had attempted to restore their floor but ended up ruining it due to the over application of linseed oil which had left it both brown and sticky. I warned the customer that we may not be able to get rid of the Linseed oil as we don’t know what products had been used previously however they were happy to proceed and they booked us in immediately after conducting a successful test.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Urchfont Before

Cleaning Oil and Wax from Terracotta Tile

We started by smothering the floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go leaving it to dwell and soak into the floor. After thirty minutes the product was scrubbed into the grout lines using a stiff grout brush. We then attached a black scrubbing pad to a rotary machine and set about trying to bust through the top layer of wax and oil. It became apparent that this particular terracotta floor was very porous indeed and that it was going to take quite a few attempts to got a section clear we rinsed the tiles thoroughly and started again. This process was repeated every five square metres so that the slurry didn’t drop back into the tile. Once we were satisfied that we had removed as much of the wax and oil as possible we then used a steamer on the areas that had an increased amount of linseed oil and scrubbed vigorously with a deck brush until happy. Once the entire floor was clear we rinsed the area thoroughly with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning product using a wet vacuum to remove as much of the water as possible before leaving it to dry for 7 days.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

Upon our return we tested the floor using a damp meter, this is important as adding sealer to a damp floor can have unexpected results. The test was OK so we began to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go eventually applying nine coats until the tile was fully sealed. You can see from the photographs below that the floor looks much better and the sealer enhanced the look of the tile and will continue to protect it against day to day wear.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Urchfont Sealed
Our customer was over the moon with the result we had achieved even though not all the linseed oil could be removed due to its porosity.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Urchfont Sealed

Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Wiltshire

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